“Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross” Philippians 2:5-8
Jesus didn’t have to come.
He didn’t have to leave the throne of heaven.
He didn’t have to give up His position.
He didn’t have to abandon His glory.
He didn’t have to surrender His rights.
He didn’t have to humble himself.
He didn’t have to become the slave.
He didn’t have to die.
It was not necessary for Him. It was not for personal benefit that He came to us. It was not because of what He could get out of it. Had Jesus not come down to earth to live and die among us God would still be in heaven. Jesus would still be in heaven. The Holy Spirit would still be in heaven. The angels in heaven would still be worshipping at the throne of God. Jesus didn’t have to come to enable any of that.
The reason Jesus came? The reason He left the throne, gave up His position, abandoned His glory, surrendered His rights, humbled Himself as a slave and died for us? Because God desires us. He doesn’t need us. We don’t need to be in heaven. But He wants us. He wants us in heaven. He wants us restored to relationship with Him. He wants the curse broken and the wages of sin paid so that we can be with Him forever.
And the only way for that to happen was with a perfect spotless sinless righteous sacrafice. So Jesus came. Not because He had to, but because He wanted to. It was not out of obligation or necessity that Jesus came. It was out of love, the desire for restoration of God’s created people with the loving Father who made us in his image. A desire to make a way for us to be counted as righteous, white as snow even though sin leaves us dirty and stained. So out of love Jesus came. Not because He had to, but because He wanted to. Out of love He left the throne of heaven, gave up His position, abandoned His glory, surrendered His rights, humbled Himself as a slave and died for us. Out of love he came down to earth to reach out to us, heaven touching earth, reaching out to us, making a way back to the Father. Making a way where all our own efforts to impress God fall short. Making a way for us to know forgiveness. Making a way for us to come before the throne of God and face mercy and grace rather than judgement and condemnation. Making a way for our sin debt, which we could never even make a dent in, to be paid in full. Out of love Jesus came and made a way. His arms are stretched out towards us still, reaching out this Christmas to the lost, the lonely, the hurting, the downcast, the rejected, the broken, the foolish, the unrepentant, the abused, the conflicted, the arrogant, the swindlers, the addicted, the abusers. Reaching out to us all and saying ‘There is a way to the Father. There is truth and there is life. Come through me to the Father’s love’ (see John 14:11). As we remember as we look to Christmas the sacrafice of love Jesus made in coming down to reach out to us let us remember that He is still reaching out, extending an arm of love to pick up and rescue all the castaways who realise they need rescued. May we go and tell a world in desperate need that not only did heaven touch earth that first Christmas but heaven is still reaching out to us all today!